A High Court judge has ruled that a five-year-old boy must leave his English mother and return to Spain to live with his Moroccan father.
Mr. Justice Holman concluded that the woman had wrongfully kept the boy in England for more than a year, breaching an order by a Spanish court.
The judge was told that both parents had overcome “drug addiction problems” and heard that the boy’s father, a handyman, had served a prison sentence for drug trafficking.
The judge made the ruling after analysing the case at a hearing in the Family Division of London’s High Court.
Mr. Justice Holman heard that the man livesin the province of Alicante while the mother is based in the south of England.
The pair met in Spain about seven years ago, separating about two years later.
The man had been convicted of drug trafficking prior to the child’s birth and had spent about five months in prison, the judge heard.
The boy was born in Spain and a Spanish court, which had jurisdiction, had ruled that he should live in Spain with his father.
The judge said that the order had to be enforced under international law.
The mother had initially promised to obey the Spanish court order but had gone against it.
Although the hearing was public the judge reiterated that nothing that could identify the child could be reported.
“He has got to go back,” the judge told the woman. “In Spain, if you wish, of course you can make some fresh application for him to come and live here. But in the meantime he has got to go back.”
Mr. Holman added: “You may think ‘he is very tough’, lacking in understanding. Far from it. I have huge understanding.
“But I also have understanding for the situation the father is in in Spain. He has not seen this child for however many months.”
The judge said the woman could visit the child in Spain and see him in holidays.